Galaxy-Sharan-Alhambra? Any obvious competition?
I’d almost settled on a Mondeo estate but I keep being drawn back to these, just looking for some opinions… It’d be for a bike-hauler with occasional commuting. Budget up to £5000 and looking most likely for 1.9TDi PD engine and as nice an interior as poss. Some de-seating would occur… I imagine I’d leave one back seat in and the rest go in the attic.
(oh- not specifically for fuel economy reasons, I don’t do mega miles so petrol would be fine- I just like oilburners)
I like driving so it’s got to handle OK- more like a car than a van- but at the same time I don’t expect mega performance 😉 Current car is a 90-bhp 1.8TDDI Focus with jelly for shocks, for comparison.
So 2 things I’m after really- one is owner experience/recommendations/warnings… The other is if there’s anything else I should check out. The whole point of it is size so I’m not really considering anything much smaller.
Any advice much appreciated 😉Posted 6 years ago
The Zafira’s one of the others that caught my eye but does seem a fair bit smaller inside- higher floor, lower roof and I don’t like the middle bench much. Though otoh there’s always the GSi and SRi models 😈
I think the Touran (and Smax and suchlike) just start to lose the extra space which is what draws me away from a normal estate in the first place. Could be wrong but that’s the way me knee’s jerking.Posted 6 years agomboySubscriber
I’d stick with the Mondeo quite frankly, unless you need all the seats for a family, an estate car just makes so much more sense so much more of the time.
Personally, A low milage petrol Mondeo Estate, with a gas conversion would be my choice if I were you. The petrol engines are fairly economical as petrols go, and the diesels not that economical as diesels go, yet the diesels still command a hefty premium. With LPG still at 70p per litre, I’m running my 1.8 Zetec Mondeo right now and it’s costing me roughly £25 to fill up after 200 miles (small gas tank in mine, it’s the one thing I would change), and that’s mostly stop start driving not cruising on the open roads. By comparison (and I drive pretty economically) the 2.5 V6 Diesel Audi A4 I had before was costing about £80 for 450 miles (when diesel was 10p per litre cheaper than it is now!), and the 1.9TDi Passat I had before that (a B5 110bhp Estate) was costing around £75 for 500-520 miles (when diesel was about £1.25 a litre or so).
As you may tell, I’m a convert to the ways of LPG… And once the cars converted (try and find one already done, the conversion doesn’t make them much more expensive to buy 2nd hand) you still reap the benefits of cheaper/easier servicing, and less to go wrong, as on all petrol cars Vs their diesel equivalents.Posted 6 years agodruidhMember
I’ll say it again- Multipla.
Two rows of three – full size – seats. You can take the 2nd row of seats out individually. Once out, you have the full height of the interior to play with. You’ll get road bikes in without taking wheels off. More than one MTB will need front wheels off. We’ve had 4 of us, 4 bikes and gear down to Glentress no problem, without it being a squash. It’s no longer than a Golf, so parking is a doodle.Posted 6 years ago
Cheers folks… Some thoughts
LPG conversions are just too thin on the ground, I’d be tempted otherwise but looking on Autotrader frinstance. there’s 6000 cars within my range and exactly 8 of them have LPG (and half of them are 4x4s). So if I can find one that’s good but it’s not going to be something I can shop for.
Multipla, doesn’t have the length I’m after in the back I think though the 3 front seats is a bonus. (you mentioned needing to take a wheel off to stash more than 1 mtb- I don’t have to do that with the Focus and I’m wanting bigger). Also I won’t lie, I find the looks hard to get past. But, I’ll check it out, you get a lot of car for the money don’t you?
Cmax likewise not got the size increase I’m after and the Grand is out of my price range (by about 100%!)
TBH I think the main competition would come from a small van… But don’t really want to go down that route.Posted 6 years agoPePPeRSubscriber
What about the Kia Carens? Bigger inside than the majority of the smaller mpv’s and is reasonably sized. Wouldn’t go for a Sedona unless you really need tons of space as they tend to be pretty thirsty, about the same as mboys 2.7 v6 Audi! I get about 470 miles to 68 litres out of my old 03 Sedona.
Be aware that if you’re buying an older sharalexy that I’ve not heard of the air con working on one yet!
The other car I’ve found which was economical 50mpg and uses the VW diesel engine is the Mitsubishi Grandis, a big economical car that was good to drive!Posted 6 years agospooky_b329Member
The Multipla may be slightly longer than you think if you are just looking at dimensions online…the middle front seat is set back from the other seats by several inches, so it is longer down each side of the car than down the middle.
On the few occasions my Dad decided to pick me up from work (and forgot I had my bike) I used to open the back door, roll the bike in between the front and rear seats, (sideways) and with a little persuasion, the door would shut on the bike. (wheels and all) I may have spun the bars 180 degrees to shorten the wheelbase slightly, can’t remember!
I think the biggest flaw in your plan is stashing the seats in the loft. Have you ever tried to remove one of those things. Its bad enough getting them out the car, let alone carrying them up the stairs, and (shudders) a loft ladder 🙂
My parents had a Serena, followed by a Sharan, followed by a Multipla. I would choose the Multipla over the others, although the Serena wouldn’t even come into consideration!Posted 6 years agowrightysonMember
The only useful thing I can add is that once upon a time, 9 blokes got in a seven seater galaxy with luggage and drove from derby to Leeds/bradford airport for an Ibiza weekend. Whilst doing 90 up the m1 at three am and several shots of ice chilled vodka later I realised it was probably one of the stupidest things I’d agreed to do 😆Posted 6 years agoWooksterSubscriber
Got an Alhambra 09 plate so old shaped one. It’s massive!! It’s the only car I have never had to think about packing four blokes bikes and kit in no Haskell every one has a seat and it will still shift for a bus.
Bags of room on the back seats kids don’t spend the whole time with their feet in the small of my back for the journey!
All the seats come out so you can have a mini van but mine spend its life with the two rear seats out so I have a massive boot again two adult bikes two kids bikes and a trailer no issues.
Mine is basic in side but that’s good for me easy to keep clean. It’s a diesel ave about 38mpg but I do a horrible mix of city and motor way driving for work.
Badside it does rol a bit when empty. You’ll get your head round that and it’s epic to park in a multi story or small car park due to the length, this is countered by the great visibility out of the drivers seat.
I do really like mine all in all and for a family and or bike outdoor bus then you are hard pushed to beat it.Posted 6 years agochriswilkMember
I’ve got a Zafira which is great for lots of kids, it’s not ideal for bikes though. The middle bench doesn’t fold flat so it’s still a front wheel off even for one bike.
The Alhambra gets the best reviews, especially for value.
Remember the Galaxy is significantly wider than the others, which can be a real pain to park.Posted 6 years agoaracerSubscriber
A low milage petrol Mondeo Estate, with a gas conversion would be my choice if I were you.
How much space do you lose with the gas tank?
I’m doing a lot less mileage than I was (down from 20k when I last bought to less than 7.5k in the last year – though there are reasons for that, and I expect to do more next year), so now wondering whether to go for a petrol rather than the diesel I’d assumed I was getting. A Mondeo Estate is about as small as I want to go though – and not happy about losing boot space from that for a gas tank. Trying to decide between that, S-Max and Galaxy (or equivalents). I was thinking I’d go for a Berlingo as my next, but realised that has the disadvantage of height (for putting kayaks on the roof) without actually having much more space than the Mondeo. Definitely not interested in Zafira or equivalent as you seem to gain very little in luggage space when carrying 4 – which is my criteria – compared to a Mondeo.
I think I’m swaying towards just getting the Mondeo, and fitting a towbar for rear-mount bike rack, along with maybe a slimline roofbox for family holidays (I tend to have one big kayak on the roof already). Though if I keep this for as long as my current car, I can see the use of being able to carry 7 for trips away with kids’ friends. Current car only just scraped the MOT, and MOT bloke says he doesn’t expect to see it back next year, so I have a while to decide, but not forever…Posted 6 years agokaren805Member
I bought a 2000 115PD TDi Galaxy just for hauling the bikes about, cheap and cheeful and currently returning just under 50MPG.
Normally run it with just one rear seat, but the option of putting all 7 in is great for family day outings. We can get 3 people and 3 bikes in with all kit easily, just the front wheels out of the bikes. Will be using it to take 3 of us and 4 bikes and all kit to Morzine for a week in July, it’s a very versitile vehicle.Posted 6 years agoGraham_ClarkSubscriber
We had a Citroen C8 – basically a van with 7 seats. All the rear seats come out individually and are ‘proper sized’. Cruised on the motorway fully laden with kids, camping kit, bikes and a canoe doing around 40mpg.Posted 6 years ago
But the best thing was the sliding rear doors! They didn’t open quick enough for A-Team style embarcations, but brilliantly handy in car parks, or when your hands are full (open from the remote)
With no seats in the back would fit a king sized matress!
It ought to have sufficient ChrisLegroom. TBH I think once it gets to this size anything’ll feel a bit van-ish so it’s probably all relative. I suppose also when I say “van-like” I mean “horrible van-like” like my brother’s old LDV.
Will need to take a look at these alternatives too, cheers folks!Posted 6 years ago
Normally run it with just one rear seat, but the option of putting all 7 in is great for family day outings. We can get 3 people and 3 bikes in with all kit easily, just the front wheels out of the bikes
Can you get one bike in a Galaxy-Sharan-Alhambra without removing the front wheel?
The pic at the bottom of this page Mitsubishi Grandis looks promising, wonder how it measures up against the S max.Posted 6 years ago
That’ll depend on the number of seats you have in it I guess, but it’lldefinately work if you’ve got one front seat and one back seat out
(tbh if you can fit 2 complete bikes, wheels on, in a Focus estate then you blooming well should be able to do the same with something the size of a bus!)Posted 6 years agodruidhMember
Northwind – Member
As far as Multiplas go, there’s the 2 recent versions- is there much to call between the one that looks like a car and the one that looks like a deep-sea monster?
There’s little to choose between the two versions. The newer one did get a slightly better engine in some variants (MultiJet vs JTD) but both are worth having.Posted 6 years agops44Member
We’ve had 3 Galaxies, an Alhambra, and now an S-Max. The Alhambra build quality was terrible. You wouldn’t think it came from the same plant as the Galaxy. They do what they claim.Posted 6 years ago
The S-Max is about as big inside as the old Galaxy, slightly less height as the seats fold into the floor rather than come out, and a much better drive. I had 7 adults in it for a rugby game on Friday, carry 3 plus bikes inside, and get all my windsurf gear in easily. I’ll be buying another one.takisawa2Subscriber
We have a 54′ 130hp TDi Galaxy. Love it. Really are unbeatable. Swallows bikes & kids. Couldn’t imagine going back to a car while we have kids. Towed a 1500kg caravan round France with ours last summer, just took it all in its stride. Not the most reliable, but the common faults they have are cheap to fix. The TDi engine is more refined than Fords TDCi unit. (A TDCi Ford could land you with a hefty bill if the dual mass & injectors go at the same time).Posted 6 years ago
Not many cars will take 2 or 3 bikes, wheels on, upright & still seat 4, & still do almost 40mpg…adi66Member
I have a Honda Stream, (Think of it as a Zafira with a Honda Badge) and whilst its not the most modern thing in the world its a absolutly brilliant little car, 2 seats that fold into the MASSIVE boot floor – when there up its a 6 / 7 seater. Decent to drive and on fuel, and most importantly its NEVER gone wrong, failed a MOT etc etc… as the MOT guy says every year when i call to check if it passed its test: Why do you call every year to ask if its passed – Its a Honda ! lol
Oh and it swallows loads with ease… Its had 8ft sheet of plasterboard in it, a Full Sized adult (Go) Kart, loads of bikes, and all of the Family stuff too.Posted 6 years ago
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